New Year New Finds: the Mysterious and Puzzling Nature of Art
By Anika S, Year 10 Journalist Leader
On Tuesday 10th January, the year 10 art students were presented with the opportunity to go on a tour of the Tate modern and Tate Britain to further our understanding of Identity and Portraiture Art. Identity and Portraiture are a crucial component of our GCSE syllabus, and at the time, we were working on self portraits.
We set out from school, battling against the rain, wind and the cold as we made our way to Ealing Broadway Station. After a long tube journey, we walked to the Tate Modern. We were all drenched by the rain, and, after hearing stories of the previous trips (I won’t disclose much, however, there were some eerie exhibits), we were sceptical of what we would find. Upon arrival, we were greeted by many abstract and surrealist pieces of art that weren’t completely focused on the human condition, but rather expression and the beliefs of the artist. Although there were many interesting and inspiring works, some left us quite puzzled: two of which being ‘Grass Breathing’ (yes, it was quite literally a part of the turf moving up and down in rhythm) and ‘Tongues’ (which were different coloured soaps in the shape of tongues).
After a guided tour, we were given some time to look around and make some sketches. By then, everyone was quite lively and energised, looking forward to lunch and the boat ride that we would be taking later on. After the break, we gathered at the entrance and started off towards the boat. Thankfully the weather was much calmer and after a pleasant walk we were surprised to find an Uber Boat. Yes, we had no idea that Uber runs a boat service. Excited and curious, we got onto the boat and settled down for the short journey. Along the way we got a view of the Big Ben and some other attractions. We were all slightly disheartened at the thought of leaving the boat, but our curiosity for what the next gallery holds kept us going.
As we entered Tate Britain, the difference between the Galleries was already quite apparent. The Tate Britain building had an old, almost decorative style, while the Tate Modern building had a minimalist style to it. We were greeted by a piece called the procession. All of us were quite impressed at how the people were so lifelike yet whimsical and how it filled the space to form an actual procession. It was probably one of the crowd favourites for the day. We were then taken to a particular part of the gallery which was focused on Portraiture and Identity, and we had to complete a sketch of a piece of our choice. These sketches were an interesting challenge for everyone, as most of them had colour and we only had pencils. Nonetheless, after sketching, we explored the gallery and marvelled at the work that all the artists had created before regrouping to head back home.
I think the trip was quite influential, it made me view art from a very different perspective. I can now dig deeper to improve my understanding of what the artists are trying to portray, whether it be from a painting or a video of ‘Breathing Grass’. All of it is art, no matter how bizarre it seems to us and I think looking at all these artists helped us realise that and appreciate it. Thank you to all the teachers that helped organise the trip, it was an amazing experience for all of us.